May 01

More blog, less Cuba

by in Travel

And now for something completely different.

I’ve been fed up with myself lately. See, I’ve got an annoying, mile-long perfectionist streak and sometimes it prevents me from doing the things I want. How? Let’s use updating my blog as an example.

If you’ve been reading along, you probably now know far more about Cuba than you ever cared to. When I returned from my last trip a couple months ago, I was all gung-ho about sharing my experiences – I think the initial veracity with which I attacked my keyboard vouches for that. Eventually, though, as the trip fell further and farther (what’s up with those words, anyway?) behind me, I lost the valuable initiative that kept me cranking out ordered ASCII characters.

Ever since I crossed that nebulous line where my writing libido had decreased, it’s been a struggle to finish the Cuba Guide. Not only that, but I think I lost my theme – I always intended my entries to be a guide about what to expect in Cuba with a healthy dose of “Arlo in Cuba Anecdotes.” Somewhere along the way (the intro?), I lost site of that and simply wrote about what one can do there.


Okay, whatever. The Big Problem is that I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind that are worth typing about, but just like the whole post On Writing I did awhile back, I feel like I’ve got to finish the Cuba stuff first or I’ll never get back to it. It’s this weird “completeist attitude” that gets me.

More and more, I’m discovering that I’m a starter, not a finisher. At the beginning of a project, I jump right in, attack it with piss and vinegar (well, with vinegar, anyway) and usually, thoroughly enjoy doing whatever it is I’m doing. But when it comes to FINISHING a project, I never seem to carry through. Examples? Just look at my wedding page still sitting where it was a year ago. How about my photo-mosaic project? On the back burner, baby. Boomstick? Well, I finally got the “final-final” version of that done, at least (the “final” version was done months ago!), but I still can’t expunge it from my hard drive until I’ve finished the Director’s Cut Credits.

I hate this conflict between my slacker-completeist side and my hardcore perfectionist side. I have a feeling that it’s this difficulty in finishing that makes me enjoy the Video Club I’ve been a part of so much. I’m able to help people start on their project, attack it head on, and then let a finisher-personality type walk the video through the last mile of production. A win-win situation, right? Okay, maybe in an ideal club. With a year behind us and only 4 out of 11 projects finished, there might be a few others in the group that have the same problem finishing…

(Which isn’t to say the club is a failure! On the contrary, despite the stress of piled up work, I’m totally devoted to what we’re doing. More on that, and a follow-up to my first blog post, later.)

My train of thought has derailed itself again. Okay, just pretend I’m still talking about the Cuba Guide.

I want to write about other stuff, but I’m conflicted because I also want to close out the Cuba Guide with some miscellaneous observations about the culture – one last post, but probably another long one. If I move on, I’ll be totally screwing up the order of my blog. How tacky it would be to have 7 or 8 Cuba entries in a row only to have the conclusion separated from the rest by entries about the Panhandle Picture Show, Deep Space Nine, and video editing? The horror!

I think I have a solution that will work for everyone involved (i.e., me).

Greymatter will let me create an entry for the last Cuba entry and then immediately CLOSE it so that it will not appear on my site. Eventually, when I get around to writing about Cuba again, I can post my final comments and OPEN the entry. Even though it probably won’t appear on my index page, it will archive itself in the proper order and, more importantly, will allow the perfectionist in me to sleep at night. For those that could care less, I promise to let you know when it’s posted by linking to it from the front page.

Well, now. That should free me to up to concentrate on posting far more often in May than in months past. Think I can pull off an entry every day this month? Stay tuned.

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Welcome to Postcard Valet

Postcard Valet is a travel blog and video podcast by Arlo and Oksana Midgett. They just returned to Juneau, Alaska, after almost three full years of travel and living abroad. Many of their stories, photos, and videos have yet to be shared...

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